Study Abroad

Transportation

For basic information on paying for transportation program costs, see the At a Glance table below. For more detailed information on each transportation method, click on the link in the Transportation Type column.

At a Glance

Transportation Type Payer Documents/Information Needed
Airfare for Program Staff
  • Study Abroad F&A via STA Travel or
  • Program Director out of pocket
Airfare for Students Students or SAFA Student airfare must be in program budget for SAFA to pay
Ground Transportation for Program Staff (to and from airports) In U.S.: out of pocket/reimbursement

In program location: field advance

In U.S.: email receipt to uwsafa@uw.edu with completed Reimbursement form OR use field advance funds and enter in field advance tracking spreadsheet

In program location: Save receipts and enter in field advance tracking spreadsheet

Ground Transportation for Students (to and from airports) Students N/A
Daily Transportation Program Director via field advance Save receipts and enter in field advance tracking spreadsheet
Excursion Travel (to and from field trips) SAFA or Program Director via field advance
  • Detailed invoice if paid by SAFA or
  • Save receipts and enter in field advance tracking spreadsheet

Airfare for Program Directors/Staff

Airfare Purchasing Policies

Program funds are generally used to purchase airfare to and from the program location for program faculty and staff members. However, the following policies apply:

Flight Dates Dates of flights must be up to a total of 7 days before the beginning and after the end of your program combined (e.g. 3 days before the program start date and 4 days after the program end date). If extra days are included, a comparison itinerary and price will be used to determine the amount to be paid with program funds. Any costs over and above this amount must be paid for with personal funds
Airfare Included in Budget Program staff airfare must be included in your program budget in order to be approved by Study Abroad F&A
Airfare Type Typically, only economy/coach class can be funded with program funds. Upgrades may be obtained if one of the following criteria is met or if paying with personal funds:

  1. Business Reasons: Upgrades require justification and prior written approval from the Vice Provost, Office of Global Affairs; unless the air travel is in excess of 14 hours and meets the criteria listed on the UW Travel site. A single annual approval updated yearly is acceptable for frequent travel.
  2. Medical Reasons: Upgrades require prior written approval from the UW Disability Services Office (UW DSO). During the accommodation process, you will be asked to submit a Disability Accommodation Request (DAR) and a Health Care Provider (HCP) statement to dso@uw.edu. For more information, visit UW DSO.
Frequent Flier Miles Frequent Flier Miles or benefits may not be used to purchase airfare for a study abroad program
Seat Fees Fees for reserving seats in advance are allowable and should be included in your airfare cost estimate
Baggage Fees Program funds may be used to pay baggage fees for up to 2 bags
Visa and Passport Fees If travel to your program location requires you to purchase or renew a passport or to acquire a visa, program fees can be used to reimburse you.

Payment Methods

State Contracted Travel Agency Our preferred method of purchasing airfare is through a state contracted travel agency. The traveler works with the travel agency to find an itinerary that works for them, and the agency contacts Study Abroad F&A to request approval for payment. Suggested agencies:

Out of Pocket Purchase and Reimbursement Program faculty and staff are free to purchase their own airfare and seek reimbursement from Study Abroad F&A, given that the above purchasing policies are followed. If your flight is not directly to and from your primary program location, and/or you are traveling more than a total of seven days before and after your program dates, please provide us with a comparison airfare. We will reimburse you the amount quoted in the comparison airfare. To request reimbursement, submit the following to Study Abroad F&A:

Airfare for Students

Flights To/From Program Location

Students are usually responsible for purchasing their own airfare to and from the program location. However, in some cases where Program Directors prefer their students to travel and arrive in their program location together, SAFA can pay for all airfare as entered in the program budget.

Flights Between Locations During Program

If your program also requires a flight between locations during your program, this expense can be added to your budget. In these cases, SAFA can pay directly, or you may purchase the airfare and request reimbursement from UW Study Abroad F&A, or purchase through a state contracted travel agency (See Program Staff tab for more information).

Ground Transportation for Program Directors/Staff

Transportation To/From Airports

Program funds are generally budgeted for ground transportation to and from airports for program faculty and staff, whether the staff member is flying out of Seatac Airport or any other airport.

Payment Methods

For transportation to/from the airport in the United States, please pay for your ground transportation with personal funds and request reimbursement by sending your receipt to uwsafa@uw.edu OR with field advance funds, adding the purchase to your expenditure list. Alternately, we can pay for your ground transportation in advance (e.g. airport shuttles, etc.).

For transportation to/from the airport in your program location, use field advance funds. Remember to save the receipts and track these expenses in your field advance expenditure spreadsheet.

Student Ground Transportation

Students are generally responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from airports. However, some programs arrange for students to be picked up and dropped off at the program location airport(s) by hotel shuttles or charter buses.

Daily Transportation

Buses and Subways/Trains

Programs in urban areas often travel via local public transportation. You may purchase one-time passes, monthly passes, or rechargeable transit cards as befits your program requirements.

Payment Methods

Advance Payment by SAFA or Local Coordinator Send an invoice or direct payment request to SAFA or add to local coordinator’s contract. Be aware that “card in hand” rules often apply with advance purchase of transit passes, so this may not be a viable option for you. Be sure to research online before you choose this method.
Field Advance Funds
  • OPTION 1: Pay directly with field advance debit card. Note that currently our field advance debit cards do not contain a microchip. In many places, a chip is required in automated fare machines. You can purchase passes at a ticket window by swiping your card.
  • OPTION 2: Withdraw cash and disburse to students using the Student Meal/Activity Form to enable them to purchase their own fare. Include this form with your field advance documentation after your program ends. Be sure to take maximum cash withdrawal amounts into consideration when planning to withdraw sufficient funds for payment by this option.
  • Note about transit pass retention for field advance documentation – You do not need to save every ticket you purchase. As long as they are all the same price, include one ticket and note how many were purchased in your field advance report.

Taxis/Ubers

In some locations or for some events, you may need to pay for taxis to transport you and your students.

Payment Method

Use field advance funds to pay taxi fares.

  • OPTION 1: Pay directly with field advance debit card. Note that currently our field advance debit cards do not contain a microchip. In many places, a chip is required in automated fare machines. You can purchase passes at a ticket window by swiping your card.
  • OPTION 2: Withdraw cash and disburse to students using the Student Meal/Activity Form to enable them to purchase their own fare. Include this form with your field advance documentation after your program ends. Be sure to take maximum cash withdrawal amounts into consideration when planning to withdraw sufficient funds for payment by this option.

Note about tips: Be sure to write in any tips on your receipt when including it with your field advance documentation. If the fare is paid with your card and the tip is paid in cash, enter them as separate line items in your tracking spreadsheet.

Excursion Travel

Rail/Chartered Vehicles

Most programs travel to excursion sites by rail or chartered bus/van. Whenever possible, have SAFA or the Rome Center pay for your excursion travel in advance to avoid being responsible for large payments in the field. In some cases you may need to pay in cash, so you may pay with field advance funds.

Note about tips: For tips to bus or van drivers paid in cash from your field advance, please record as a line item in your tracking spreadsheet. You can add this line item to your perjury statement or use the Field Advance Payment Form as a receipt.

Rental Cars

The use of rental cars for program travel is not permitted for liability reasons.